On Friday, I used a recipe from this cookbook to make these really great pumpkin cookies. It was the process of making the cookies that made me think I should get back in touch with the vegan / stigmata guy. As you may remember, one of my stated reasons not to pursue him further into the world of dating was his frequent use of the word “duchebag.” Another reason I didn’t write about was that I actually kind of liked him, and instead of that making me happy, it made me think about how I missed being with Birmingham. I did some quick math, and it added up to not being ready to be single, at least not after a few short months. So I broke it off for both reasons. But then he got back in touch with me, and as I was making the cookies I thought about how nice it would be to share them with someone who willingly took up a vegetarian diet, so I gave him a call. Or if we want to be technical and modern about it, I sent him a text.
That text led to us spending Sunday together in the city where we visited SisterAlyson and Lola and The Man of Action, ate burritos at my favorite joint, and went to the museum of Natural History. Did you know that it only took the moon one month to form from a million pieces of rock? And did you know that the Northern Lights are caused by sunstorms hitting the Earth’s magnetic field? Furthermore, we also learned that Sequoias grow mighty large, New York City tap water is totally drinkable, if you can find a working water fountain, and that coat check is only $2 a person, which can include a coat, a computer in a bag and an umbrella as long as only one person checks them. We also learned that if the person selling you the ticket to the museum asks if you’re a student, the answer is “yes,” because she is too bored to ask for ID. Overall an enjoyable day. Right now he has “buddy” status, and still doesn’t know about the blog. I think SisterAlyson likes him more than I do, and if she wanted to go for him, I wouldn’t stand in her way. Her boyfriend might, though.
But I was talking about cookies, right? Here’s the recipe for vegan-Pumpkin-Oatmeal-win-his-heart-even-if-you-don’t-really-want-it Cookies from the book:
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose flour)
1 1/3 cups rolled oats (Finally a use for that wiley 1/3 cup measure!)
1 tsp. baking soda (Yeah, that box that’s been open in your fridge for months keeping things “fresh”)
3/4 tsp. salt (A good source of iodine!)
1 tsp. cinnamon (Resist the temptation to use more!)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (Every time I use this spice I think of my nutty friend Meg.)
1 2/3 cups sugar (It’s VEGAN, not DIET.)
2/3 cups Canola oil (this is how we get around using eggs.)
2 tbsp Molasses (If you’ve been following all my recipes, you should have this leftover from the ginger cookies.)
1 cup canned pumpkin (that’s not the whole can!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (smells so good…)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional, but I used it since I’ve got a grinder and I heart flaxseed.)
1 cup walnuts (I didn’t have them on hand, I omitted them, and lived to tell the tale.)
1/2 cup raisins (Anyone watch the new P.Diddy production? Me, either.)
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
Mix together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla (and flaxseeds if using) until very well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three batches, folding to combine. Fold in the walnuts and raisins.
Drop by tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. They don’t spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork or with your fingers to press into a cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350. If you are using two sheets of cookies on two levels of your oven, rotate the sheets halfway through for even baking. You’ll have enough batter for four sheets.
Remove from oven, cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. These taste best when they’ve had some time to cool and set. They taste even better the next day!
The only problem with the recipe is that you’re leftover with half a can of pumpkin. What in the world does one do with half a can of pumpkin? I looked around my kitchen and spotted this on the top of my fridge:
The blender I got for Christmas and still haven’t taken out of the box! Oy vey, I can totally make a pumpkin smoothie! I did some internetting, and this is what I came up with, borrowed from here:
Vegan Pumpkin Smoothie
the rest of your can of pumpkin puree
1 cup milk (I used Rice, you could use Soy or you could steal it from baby cows. Your choice.)
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
2 tsp. Raw Sugar
1 tsp. Maple Syrup (I didn’t have that, so I used maple sugar.)
4 ice cubes (note: if you get home from the gym and realize that all your ice cubes evaporated so you make a fresh batch and then watch the movie “Proof” on DVD the ice cubes will not be totally frozen by the time you finish watching the movie, which really wasn’t that good except when Jake Gyllenhaal was in the frame.)
Blend that shit, enjoy. It tastes kind of like the raw batter of a pumpkin pie, but slightly watery, which I chalk up to the slightly liquid-y ice cubes. A good source of beta-carotene, nonetheless.
A final note for those of you who are new: I go to a gym that has free pizza on the first Monday of every month. (see the “I’m not judging you” categories for more info.) It’s an odd customer appreciation thing, and it makes no sense, but I’m not going to question it because free pizza is one of the things I live for. I usually milk them for about 3 slices, especially after they wouldn’t let me put my membership on hold for the two months I was on crutches, and they don’t let me wear a bandanna because I might flash a gang color. However, this Monday falls right in the beginning of my vegan month, and eating all that pizza would not help my weight loss and personal goals. So I did my workout, stretched, and LEFT. I ate no pizza. Giving up such a marvelous opportunity means the rest of this month is going to be a cakewalk, if one could make cake without dairy.